Tag Archives: EFCC

Obong Attah Slams Akpabio …Says Pension Law is Fraudulent.

31 May

 Ex-Gov. Attah attacks Akpabio over scandalous pension law: Says “Publish what you pay me”

Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Victor Attah, has challenged the incumbent, Governor Godswill Akpabio, to publish how much he has paid him (Mr. Attah) and past leaders of the state as pension.

Ex-Governor Attah

This followed claims by Mr. Akpabio that the government had been spending huge resources in taking care of former governors as well as deputy governors and their spouses.

Mr. Attah, who spoke in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Friday, also berated journalists, especially those who recently interviewed the Akwa Ibom state governor, for not asking Mr. Akpabio pertinent questions about his management of the state resources.

He said, “If Godswill Akpabio says he conceived the new law to put a ceiling to the expenses made on previous leaders of the state, somebody should have had the guts to ask him how much he has been paying to the past leaders.

“You journalists are afraid of Godswill Akpabio and that is why you have always shied away from asking some pertinent questions.”

Governor Akpabio, who appeared on a breakfast show on Channels Television earlier in the day had described as laughable, the criticisms that have trailed the new law that would enable him earn over N200 million as pension annually.

Mr. Akpabio said, “It’s a laughable situation that people generate controversy over the pension law. The law has been in existence in Akwa Ibom State. I am the one implementing it.

“I know what I am talking about and because I wear the shoe, I know where it pinches. All the former elected governors and their deputies have been enjoying the pension. The pension was first established in 2000 and was further amended with certain provisions added in 2006.”
While explaining the general principles of the new law, he said, “It’s really not a retroactive law, neither is it a new law. It is an existing law that went through amendment.

He noted that the old law was open-ended in terms of benefits payable to past governors, deputies and their spouses.

He said, “We had a situation where bills from former deputies and their spouses worth N29 million were brought from several hospitals they claimed they went for treatment abroad.

“Because the bill did not specify whether the hospital should be in Nigeria or not, most of what I have seen in the past seven years has been bills from hospitals abroad.”

In the course of implementing the existing law, Mr. Akpabio said some former governors and their deputies have brought bills ranging from $50,000, $70,000, and sometimes $112,000.

He argued that it was against decorum to question the medical bills of past leaders on grounds that there are high, and mentioned an instance where a former leader requested for funds to hire an airline to take his spouse for treatment abroad.

But Mr. Attah, who sounded angry said, “Why don’t you people ask him how much the state has paid to its past leaders? Why don’t you people ask him how much has been paying to Obong Attah and others?
“I don’t like it when journalists always come to ask me about what is wrong in Akwa Ibom State instead of asking Godswill Akpabio.

“He is the one who said he has been paying so much to past governors and wanted to put ceiling on what is paid out to check wastage of public funds. Those who interviewed him should have asked him to mention just how much he has paid so far.

“They didn’t ask him such questions; they didn’t ask him to clarify on the projects he said he has been carrying out in the state.
“I don’t have anything to tell you since you do not have the guts to ask Governor Akpabio to present proofs of what he has been paying to past leaders of the state.

“You journalists should go and look at the law critically and ask him whether Obong Attah has been enjoying any of the benefits provided for in the law.

“You should also ask him whether he built a retirement home for me either in Uyo or Abuja. Ask him to tell you how much he has been paying to Obong Attah as retirement package after I left office.

“These are questions Akpabio should answer and should provide verifiable records to Akwa Ibom people and Nigerians. Journalists should stop asking me questions they should ordinarily ask Governor Godswill Akpabio. I want to enjoy my retirement in peace.”

Mr. Attah said journalists should stop using him as a shield against their inability to confront Governor Akpabio to tell them the truth about what is happening in Akwa Ibom State.

Culled from Premiumtimes

Ibori Recommended Waziri For EFCC Job, Says Former Preisent Obasanjo-PUNCH

12 Sep

ImageFormer President Olusegun Obasanjo has said the appointment of Mrs. Farida Waziri as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission slowed down the fight against corruption in the country.

 Obasanjo, in an exclusive interview he granted Zero Tolerance, a magazine published by the EFCC,  said Waziri was a wrong successor to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the pioneer chairman of the anti-graft agency.

The former President, whose administration established the  EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other-Related Offences Commission, added that  he was aware that convicted  former Delta State Governor,  James Ibori, played a major role in  her  appointment.

He said, “I know that the woman they brought in to replace Ribadu was not the right person for that job  because I understood that one of those who head-hunted her was Ibori. If  Ibori, who is now in a UK (United Kingdom) prison for fraud, head-hunts somebody who will fight corruption in Nigeria, then you can understand what happened.”

  To buttress his argument that Waziri was a wrong person for the job, he challenged the publication to “go and look at her track record.”

 “Go and look at the condition or the qualification; go and look at the type of interaction that anybody holding that job will have with a similar organization elsewhere; did Waziri have that type. What connection did she have with the FBI, what relationship did she have with Metropolitan Police in London. It’s not a picnic,”Obasanjo  added.

Waziri, a retired senior police officer, was appointed head of the EFCC in 2008 after the controversial exit of  Ribadu, who was  also a former police officer.

Obasanjo  commended   Ribadu, saying his performance as the  EFCC boss helped reduce corruption in Nigeria and improved her rating by the Transparency International.

He said, “When I was there, the EFCC and ICPC worked tirelessly and we moved this country from the corruption perception index being number two from the lowest to number 45 from the lowest. We should have graduated from being number 45 to being number 50 to being number 60, to being number 100. But we are not doing that, rather we have started sliding down.”

The former President flayed  the manner Ribadu was removed from office, saying he cautioned  the late President Umaru Yar’Adua against  his  removal.

Obasanjo said if given the opportunity again, “I will reappoint Mallam Ribadu and I will not dismiss him the way he was dismissed from the EFCC.”

He, however, criticized  Ribadu for hobnobbing “with people he had declared as corrupt.”

Asked to rate the incumbent EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, on the fight against corruption, Obasanjo, said he did not know how to score him.

  But he recalled that Lamorde was directly involved  when he requested the anti-graft agency to investigate him.

He said, “I was investigated. I told  the EFCC to investigate me. I told the  EFCC to carry out clinical investigation and they did.

 “They also did same with all people on my farm. One of them was telling me the other day how Lamorde called him three times and took statements from him. The EFCC even made sure they did not submit that report to me; they waited until I left and updated their report after going round the world and saying look this is the report. Nobody should be below board in the fight against corruption.”

 The Egba chief  also  expressed concerns about the perceived corruption in the judiciary, saying  it required the efforts of all Nigerians to check the trend.

In a separate interview with Zero Tolerance, Waziri denied that Ibori supported her appointment as the EFCC chairman.

 She said, “I never knew him. I never knew James Ibori.

 “Let me ask you, if I was in league with Ibori and was not sincerely pursuing him, would he have run, gone out of this country to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates?

 “It is all lies of the enemies.  By the time I write my book,  the truth will prevail. I never knew Ibori; look I believe what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. I don’t believe in half measures. By my training and upbringing, I can never betray my country for anyone.”

 Justifying her appointment, Waziri said she secured the first conviction  in the history of the  EFCC.

“N190bn, one single recovery from one person that went to jail was during Farida Waziri. That is why it is good to have changes in an organisation”, she added.

Waziri faulted the manner she was sacked by the Goodluck Jonathan administration despite committing more than  30 years  to serving the nation.

 She said she learnt  of  her removal  in November 2011  in the news media and stated that she did  not deserve the humiliation since she had not been found wanting for any misdemeanor.

“If you are removed like that, it has a tendency to scare some people. I wasn’t bothered that I left because my philosophy of life is simple, ‘what has a beginning has an end,’’  Waziri said.

Meanwhile, the EFCC has said that it secured 80 convictions in eight months.

The 80 were part of the 368 cases charged to court.

In a statement by its Acting Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, the commission said it had also recovered N6,583,108,350 ; $19,251,519; 20,520 Euros and £19,000.

“Beyond the recovery, the EFCC intensified the prosecution of politically-exposed persons, failed bank executives, captains of industry, beneficiaries of fraudulent oil subsidy payments and senior civil servants involved in pension fraud.

“A number of cases for which investigations have been concluded, would be charged to courts across the zones where the Commission maintains offices as soon as the courts resume from recess.

“The commission deplored attempts by mischievous elements to distract it by imputing political motives to some of its investigations.”

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